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Dykes, Eva Beatrice (13 August 1893–29 October 1986), scholar and educator, was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of James Stanley Dykes and Martha Ann Howard. Eva Dykes graduated from M. Street High (later Paul Laurence Dunbar High School) in 1910. As valedictorian of her class, she won from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority a $10 scholarship to attend Howard University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English in 1914. After a year of teaching Latin and English at the now defunct Walden University in Nashville, Tennessee, and for another year elsewhere, she was urged by James Howard, a physician and uncle on her mother’s side, to enter Radcliffe College in 1916. Subsequently, she earned a second B.A. in English, magna cum laude, in 1917. Elected Phi Beta Kappa, she received an M.A. in English in 1918 and a Ph.D. in English philology in 1921. Her dissertation was titled “Pope and His Influence in America from 1715 to 1850.”...

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Folger, Emily Jordan (15 May 1858–21 February 1936), student and collector of Shakespeareana, was born in Ironton, Ohio, the daughter of Augusta Woodbury Ricker and Edward Jordan, a newspaper editor, lawyer, and solicitor of the U.S. Treasury under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson...

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Koch, Vivienne (1911–29 November 1961), educator and literary critic, was born in New York City, the daughter of John Desider Koch, a manufacturer, and Helen Karman. As children, Vivienne and her brother and sister were often cared for by their Hungarian immigrant grandparents and by a German nurse, so they grew up trilingual. Vivienne’s early education was at public schools in New York City. She later attended Washington Square College, a division of New York University. Her initial interest as an undergraduate was in theater, but during her sophomore year she felt unsatisfied with the intellectual challenges it offered, and her interest switched to literature and philosophy. She received her B.A. in 1932 and went on to Columbia University, where she received her M.A. with the completion of her thesis on Anton Chekhov in 1933....

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Lowell, Amy (09 February 1874–12 May 1925), poet, critic, and lecturer, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the daughter of Augustus Lowell and Katherine Bigelow Lawrence. Both sides of the family were New England aristocrats, wealthy and prominent members of society. Augustus Lowell was a businessman, civic leader, and horticulturalist, Katherine Lowell an accomplished musician and linguist. Although considered as “almost disreputable,” poets were part of the Lowell family, including ...

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Marianne Moore Photograph by George Platt Lynes, 1935. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101955).

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Elaine Oswald and Robert L. Gale

Moore, Marianne (15 November 1887–05 February 1972), poet, critic, and translator, was born Marianne Craig Moore in Kirkland, Missouri, the daughter of John Milton Moore, a construction engineer and inventor, and Mary Warner. Moore had an older brother, John Warner Moore. She never met her father; before her birth his invention of a smokeless furnace failed, and he had a nervous and mental breakdown and was hospitalized in Massachusetts. Moore’s mother became a housekeeper for John Riddle Warner, her father, an affectionate, well-read Presbyterian pastor in Kirkwood, until his death in 1894. Moore’s mother, always overly protective, moved with her children briefly to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and then to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where Moore attended the Metzger Institute (now part of Dickinson College) through high school. In 1905 she entered Bryn Mawr College, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; published nine poems, including “A Jelly-Fish,” in its literary magazines ...

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Paterson, Isabel (22 January 1886–10 January 1961), noted book critic and libertarian thinker, was born on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada, to Francis and Margaret Bowler, recent settlers in the area who ran a grist mill. In the years after her birth her parents moved their family of nine children between Michigan, Utah, and other western territories before returning again to Canada, where they established a ranch. Isabel's childhood was marked by poverty and persistent clashes with her shiftless father. She and her siblings were expected to help support the family, and she received only about two years of formal schooling. Nonetheless Isabel loved to read and sought out books wherever they could be found. She was proud to identify herself as a daughter of the frontier and would later ground her individualism in the values of self-sufficiency and hard work she had learned as a child....

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Preston, Harriet Waters (06 August 1836–14 May 1911), writer and translator, was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, the daughter of Samuel Preston and Lydia Proctor. She was educated by private tutors at home and then lived abroad, mainly in Italy, France, and England. She returned to the United States in 1865, lived in New England, and turned her fluency in Latin, French, and Italian to good use as a translator. Throughout the 1870s and 1880s she frequently contributed critical articles and reviews to scholarly magazines such as the ...

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Tuve, Rosemond (27 November 1903–20 December 1964), literary critic and teacher, was born in Canton, South Dakota, the daughter of Anthony Gulbrandssen Tuve, a mathematician and president of Augustana College, and Ida Marie Larsen, head of the college’s music department. Tuve’s parents did not stop being teachers in the home, and she later said, “I learned without noticing it before I was ten to care about most of the things I have since thought or written about.”...